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My Lover's Lover [Kindle Edition]

Maggie O'Farrell
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Maggie O'Farrell's second novel is an intense, unnerving and passionate story of betrayal, loss and love, with all the frisson and psychological intensity of Rebecca.

When Lily moves into Marcus's flat and plunges headlong into a relationship, she must contend not merely with the disapproval of flatmate Aidan, but with a more intangible, hostile presence. Could it be that Sinead, Marcus's ex, is trying to communicate with her? When Lily begins to 'see' Sinead, first about the flat, and then on the streets of London, she must question not merely her sanity, but whether the man she loves is someone she can, or indeed ought, to live with at all.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Maggie O'Farrell was heralded as a major new writer with her debut novel, After You'd Gone. And here she is with My Lover's Lover, demonstrating again her extraordinary talent. The coda to the novel's final part is Evelyn Waugh's "To know and love one other human being is the root of all wisdom". It's the choices and chances, the compromises and delusions, made in the search for love that preoccupy O'Farrell's central characters. The setting is 30-something London, New York, and rural China. Lily and Marcus meet at a gallery opening; almost the day after, they're sharing his chic loft, and soon after that, his bed. But if this sounds like chick-lit, any similarities end here. Narrated in four parts, O'Farrell moves adeptly from third to first person, from present to past to future.

Through Lily's account in the first section, a claustrophobic fear pulsates: she is haunted by Marcus's previous lover, Sinead, who seems to be everywhere--"The flat seems sticky with Sinead's fingerprints. [Lily] doesn't know what to do." But according to Marcus, Sinead "is no longer with us". On every page, O'Farrell's transcription of the body as register of the emotions, of fear and desire, is breathtaking. Language dissects and insinuates; revelations unfurl and double back. Sinead's incredulity at Marcus's being "not exactly faithful" and Marcus's old friend Aidan's consternation at his own secret longings are described with such tactility, such spare suggestiveness that these lovers' tales take on a brooding, yet haphazard quality. O'Farrell is an insightful and passionate chronicler of human emotions. It's compulsive and thrilling stuff. --Ruth Petrie


A sensual, creepy tale of passion and jealousy - should cement her reputation (Mirror)

A gripping exploration of the ambivalence at the heart of intimate relationships; a keenly observed portrayal of shifting metropolitan lives and a superbly imagined story of a haunting (You magazine, Mail on Sunday)

Those who loved and wept over her debut, After You'd Gone... will not be disappointed... Insightful and emotionally raw (Daily Telegraph)

Absorbing and just as beautifully written (as After You'd Gone)... the writing is so convincing that even an earth-bound old sceptic like me was almost seduced into believing in ghosts... a sensual celebration of language (Mavis Cheek, Daily Express)

O'Farrell's debut novel, After You'd Gone, was un-putdownable. Her second book is equally captivating, exploring the devastating effects of obsession... O'Farrell's novel, written with passion and clarity, beautifully describes how old relationships can haunt new lovers' (Elle (Read of the Month))

O'Farrell builds the suspense beautifully... Distrustful of the man she loves, and haunted by a woman she believes is now dead, Lily is a 21st century equivalent of du Maurier's heroine [Rebecca] and of Jane Eyre too - of any woman haunted by her partner's first love... O'Farrell is so good at exploring the most inscrutable aspects of relationships, and those who lure us into them, that it would almost be a crime for her to stop (Independent on Sunday)

O'Farrell makes masterful use of the industrial setting - all echoing spaces and clanging doors - to create an atmosphere laden with suspense, but just as you think you've got the story figured out, a fresh twist keeps you turning the pages (Good Housekeeping)

Brilliantly evokes the raw pain of breaking up - and the pure relief of moving on (She)

A psychological drama with, at its core, the timeless theme of love betrayed... she is adept at evoking extreme emotions... shock, grief and loss spring from the page as intensely as they did in O'Farrell's first book (Sunday Telegraph)

A story that is much more than a romance, exploring the dark avenues of obsession, and the lingering aftermath of a relationship... Award-winning novelist Maggie O'Farrell has created an unusual, suspenseful tale, laying bare the damage that lovers can do to one another. Her writing is exquisite, her images tangible... O'Farrell understands human nature in frightening depth and skilfully lays a trail of half-truths and mystery to ensnare and enthrall (Time Out)

O'Farrell's liking for gothic fiction is reflected in this brooding, haunted tale. She pays homage to Brontë and Du Maurier in the novel's early scenes, and like those two prose maters, she explores the notion that the scariest monsters are found in the home and in the psyche... The growth of Lily's obsession with Sinead is told with subtle, unnerving passion. My Lover's Lover establishes beyond doubt that O'Farrell is a writer of consummate skill and this morality tale of old attachments will resonate with anyone who has had to confront the ghost of relationships past (Waterstone's Books Quarterly)

An epic, domestic romance... a worthy sequel to AFTER YOU'D GONE (Observer)

Part chiller, part love story, with its lurching twists and poetic bravura, this is VERTIGO for the WHAT LIES BENEATH generation (The Face)

I loved the proof of the new Maggie O'Farrell - even better than her last novel, simultaneously poignant and suspenseful (Catherine Taylor, Amazon)

Even better than AFTER YOU'D GONE (Suzi Feay, Open Book, Radio 4)

As soon as I'd finished My Lover's Lover, Maggie O'Farrell's second novel, I rushed to my local bookshop to acquire her first - that is the drug-like strength of O'Farrell's storytelling. My Lover's Lover, as its title suggests, is a gripping and passionate double love story, which takes contemporary romantic fiction into wilder territory... Years ago, I was weaned off my Wharton habit because the drug ran out. What can possibly save me from total addiction to the young O'Farrell, who, one hopes, is at the start of a long and brilliant career? (Literary Review)

'...emotionally acute...'

'...a novel full of spine-tingling intrigue. Read it and pass it on.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 446 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Tinder Press; New Ed edition (12 Nov. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004JHY8DK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #58,368 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Maggie O'Farrell is the author of five novels, After You'd Gone, My Lover's Lover, The Distance Between Us, which won a Somerset Maugham Award, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox and The Hand That First Held Mine. Born in Northern Ireland, Maggie grew up in Wales and Scotland. She lives in London with her husband and two children.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good idea but a poor ending 11 May 2002
By A Customer
I loved 'After You'd Gone' and couldn't wait to read this one. The basic idea is good - the ex-lover who continues to haunt the present. However, it soon becomes clear that the main character has a very creative imagination and this central thread is left hanging at the end, leaving the reader with more questions than answers. Whereas 'After You'd Gone' caught the wrenching agony of loss, this novel merely describes it.
For all its weaknesses this is quite a good read and I suspect there is a lot better to come from this novelist.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I spent a lazy Sunday afternoon completely engrossed in this book, and must say I am surprised at some of the reviews on here as I thought it was fantastic!

The story begins with Lily moving in with a man called Marcus who is renting out a room in his converted flat. He is boyish and charming, but deeply affected by the break-up of his relationship with Sinead. Although Lily and Marcus become lovers, Lily cannot escape the presence of Sinead. It is so overpowering that Lily is able to 'see' her and smell her perfume, which makes Lily too nervous to be in the place alone. Although Marcus seems sincere, Lily finds that he is still obsessed by Sinead and this forces Lily's curiosity to grow into a an encompassing quest for the truth.

This is the first of Maggie O'Farrell's books that I have read and I found it to be an absorbing, haunting novel detailing the sometimes destructive power of love and the painful memories tied up with old relationships. Farrell's writing shows a great depth of knowledge into the human psyche. However, I like other readers did find Lily hard work to begin with, I couldn't empaphise with her and found her to be quite shallow and tactless and cringed when she kept putting her foot in it. I felt that Sinead was the most powerful character in the novel, she had real strength and power and I found myself empaphising with her more than Lily. Apart from that small niggle though the novel just kept unraveling in a dreamlike way consistently revealing more facets of this sparkling novel. It is full of twists and turns, many of which I saw coming and others were a surprise.

I cannot wait to buy Maggie O'Farrell's first novel as I have seen excellent reviews of that one...
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting 19 Mar. 2003
By A Customer
I really can't agree with those reviwers who criticise this book because I loved it, even to the point of rushing home from work just to read a few more chapters! I have not, however, read the author's first novel, 'After You'd Gone' (which I understand is really good) and so perhaps, because I did not subconciously compare it with this one, I enjoyed for itself. I found the story not to be haunting in a creepy sort of way, but in the sense that it evoked the atmosphere of a love that lingers and refuses to leave, even after one of the lovers has left. Lily moves in with Marcus, who is boyish and irresistable, but he is still deeply affected by the break-up of his 5-year relationship with Sinead. Although Lily and Marcus become lovers, Lily cannot escape the presence of Sinead in the converted warehouse she shares with Marcus. Sinead's presence is so overpowering that Lily is able to 'see' her and smell her perfume, which makes Lily too nervous to be in the place alone. Although Marcus seems sincere, Lily finds that he is still obsessed by Sinead and constantly phones her, asking her to come back. Unable to stand the uncertainty, Lily tracks Sinead down and begs her to tell the truth about why she left Marcus. Upon hearing Sinead's story, Lily begins to see Marcus in a different light, until she is forced to face the truth about their own relationship. This is a story of love, betrayal, friendship and trust and (unlike a previous reviewer) I found the ending to be perfectly clear and also very satisfying. In all, I found this novel to be very tender and thought-provoking and it lingered in my mind for a long time after I had finished it.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well written, keeps you guessing 7 Jan. 2004
By A Customer
I really enjoyed this book and am surprised at the mixed reviews it has recieved. I have not read Maggie O Farrell's first book but after reading her second i will search out 'after you'd gone' as i feel hungry for more novels by this author. I admit it seemed a little strange to jump so suddenly half way through the book but i saw it as a chance to get to know the other characters a little more. Personaly i would recommend this book to others as i enjoyed it so much i couldnt put it down.
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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant, haunting follow-up 4 April 2002
By A Customer
I was almost too scared to read this book! I loved her first novel, After you'd Gone, so much I was worried I wouldn't like this one as much.
But it's another beautiful, heart-breaking, gut-wrnching read. It's not so similar to After You'd Gone that you miss the people in the first book, but it's similar enough to still love it.
It's in three parts. The first part centres around Lily and what starts out as a slightly unhealthy interest in her lover's ex, Sinead. O'Farrell builds up the idea that Sinead is haunting Lily and, just like After You'd Gone, she pulls the rug out from under your feet just as soon as you think you know what's happening.
It didn't make me cry, like the first novel did, but it scared me and gripped me and thrilled me. It's a fantastic read and if you've ever loved someone but felt a bit unsure of them - this is the book for you.
Hurry up with the next one, Maggie!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good read
Enjoyable but personal preference for 'After your Gone'
Published 1 month ago by grannyseeds
3.0 out of 5 stars Not her best
I am a massive Maggie O'Farrell fan but this is by far my least favourite of her books. I just didn't "get" it or the point of it.
Published 3 months ago by billydog
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsive reading
I read this over two days and couldn't put it down. Was very lucky to find it in a charity shop in a two for one pound deal. Read more
Published 4 months ago by shoestopper
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book, Highly recommended!
Published 6 months ago by martin simons
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
not her best but readable
Published 7 months ago by Valerie Curling
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good holiday read!!!
Published 9 months ago by cassie
2.0 out of 5 stars My Lover's Lover
Unfortunately the first book by Maggie O'Farrell that I didn't enjoy, a rather pointless forgetable story.
Published 9 months ago by paulene
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Having read all of her previous books with enthuism I was smewhat disappointed with this one. It didn't have the intrigue of previous novels and was somewhat drawn-out.
Published 11 months ago by Mrs A D Sharman
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
This is the only book I have read by Maggie O'Farrell that disappointed. It failed to engage and the threads are never pulled together. By the end, I had stopped caring.
Published 14 months ago by Jo Peters
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing and confusing
I have just read 'the hand that first held mine' - which was brilliant. so i was looking fwd to reading My lovers lover. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Susan Benjamin
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